Thursday, December 25, 2014

Acceptance

Acceptance (Southern Reach Trilogy, #3)Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As the last in the Southern Trilogy, Acceptance is a most fitting title. By the time you are done you have come to a certain acceptance that you may never know all the answers, but you know enought that it feels like you can let go. I have my theories of what the point is but I will save those for discussion with those who have read it. I have often read reviews that treat all 3 as one book, and really you do have to read them in order and altogether. Altogether it was an amazing journey...crazy, dark, bizarre, beautiful, confusing, and enlightening journey. If you have ever felt like you are reading the same plots over and over, this trilogy is for you...

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Authority

Authority (Southern Reach Trilogy, #2)Authority by Jeff VanderMeer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As a sequel to Annhilation, it was much more lucid but not very forthcoming on answers. For every question it answered, there seemed to be two or three more that popped up. Still, great writing, and such imaginative writing! and it gave just enough answers that I eagerly reached for the third installment...

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Annihilation

Annihilation (Southern Reach Trilogy, #1)Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the most confusing, bizarre book I have ever read. It both haunted me and inspired me. It is the most unique book I have read to date and I both loved it and hated it . I loved it because it made my brain hurt trying to figure out what is going on, why, how? And hated it because the ending shouldn't leave you with that many unanswered questions. So glad the sequels were already out when I began this journey....

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The Giver

The Giver (The Giver, #1)The Giver by Lois Lowry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As one of the first dystopian YA books, you can see its influence reverberate throughout many of the others that followed. It doesn't have the action that some of the later renditions add, but it raises important questions and helps us question what is important and what sacrifices we would be willing to make for a "perfect" world...lessons that sometimes get lost in these later reiterations.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Tenth of December

Tenth of DecemberTenth of December by George Saunders
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a collection of short stories that investigates the worth of a soul. What is our obligation to other people? What would we do/ give up for another person? What would we do if someone was going to die? What about just being raped? Why do we view some people's lives as having more value than another's? Is it money, race, intelligence, moral goodness that makes someone better? How much worth do we view our own life? Overall the stories were uplifting, though a few were disturbing (in a good thought provoking way). There is some language and sex, especially in the first two stories, but the last story, the title story, is a definite must read.

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Five days at memorial

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged HospitalFive Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fink did an excellent job of presenting the facts in an objective manner. By laying out the story in only the words of eye witness interviews and testimony, she refrains from judgement from those who weren't there and those who would "couch quarterback" it after the fact. What we discover is that these ethical questions are not as clear cut as we'd like them to be.
I will admit that by limiting herself to testimonies and interviews, sometimes I was confused on who was being referred to...was "the frizzy haired lady" Dr. Pou, I'd wonder, and have to look up her physical description again. Also, some of the events were told multiple times by different viewpoints and that was hard to keep the timeline straight. My ebook had no pictures either...that would have been useful to help picture it. I'm not sure I came up with a judgement myself on what happened The only people who will truly know what their motivations were are the doctors and nurses involved....and perhaps they don't even really know. But I do know that when a crisis comes and I am in charge, getting enough sleep, encouraging resourcefulness, keeping morale up and not allowing fear to spread are things I have learned that make the difference in good decision making.

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The Paper Magician

The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #1)The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I got this as an Amazon prime free book, and as such was not expecting a lot. It turned into a fun read...a cross between ABC's Once and Night Circus with a little Harry Potter fairy dust. It 's a rather typical YA fantasy, but that's not a criticism. It was mostly whimsical and then had bits of really gory bits that seemed a little jarring. That and the overused trope of the young girl falling for the much older guy, again, were my only criticisms. I was pleasantly surprised to find out the author was Mormon at the end.

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